Today we will continue our series entitled “God’s Grace & Our Faith.” We are looking at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Our primary scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. In our last message, we also looked at Galatians 5:22,23, Ephesians 2:10, and Matthew 5:16. We will look at those again this morning as well. Additionally, we will also look at 2 Timothy 1:9 and Ephesians 1:4). I will attempt to bring all these scriptures together in one message.
(John 1:14 New International Version)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:17 New International Version)
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(Galatians 5:22,23 The Passion Translation)
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.
(Eph 2:10 Easy to Read Version)
God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned for us to do.
(Matthew 5:16 New International Version)
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
(2 Timothy 1:9)
God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
So what does this mean for you today? Let’s talk about “a life full of virtue.” Other translations list this as “goodness.”
1. You are not a mistake.
— You were born for God’s divine purpose.
— Along with a divine purpose, God sent you to this planet with the grace to fulfill it.
— God did not give you purpose and grace because you earned it. God gave you purpose and grace in Christ Jesus before the world began (2 Tim 1:9).
— The purpose and grace on your life should not be wasted. God gave you both so you can make the impact He sent you to this planet to make. This impact is part of your divine destiny.
2. When you realize you are not a mistake, you also come to the realization that you have WORK to do!
— God did not save you from hell just so you can go to heaven someday. If all God wanted for you was heaven, you would be dead. You have air still flowing through your lungs and blood still flowing through your veins becuase God is not through with you on this planet.
— If you are Born-Again, you must realize that God saved you for your purpose. You were not saved to sit. You were saved to serve. Part of your “service” includes a four-letter word. This word is WORK! God wants you to be led by His Spirit and governed by His Word so you can actually do the WORK you were born to do. This is how God is seen and glorified in this world.
— Your job is to FIND, FOLLOW and FINISH your divine assignment BEFORE you die. You don’t have any excuses. God gave you His Word, His Spirit, and His grace. You have everything you need to be used by God to make the impact you were born to make! Your job now is to:
a) seek God concerning the plans He made for you,
b) believe the plans when He reveals them to you, no matter how big they seem,
c) embrace the grace to do what you are called to do (which will be something you cannot do without God),
d) and remain committed for the long haul.
3. You bring glory to God when you are doing what you were born to do, and you have everything you need to do so.
Paul told us that we were chosen by God, in Christ, becuase God loves us (Eph 1:4). Paul also told us that God gave us a divine purpose and the grace for our purpose, in Christ Jesus, before the world began (2 Tim 1:9). Jesus told us that when we allow God’s light to SHINE through us on earth (by doing what we were born to do), we glorify our Father in heaven (Mat 5:16). When Paul listed the fruit of the Holy Spirit, goodness (or good works) was listed among the fruit.
When you put all of this together, you realize that God has given you everything you need to do what He sent you to this planet to you. He made plans for you before the world began. He chose you, in love, to fulfill those plans. He pursued you long enough for you to stop running and accept His Son, Jesus the Christ, as Lord. He filled you with His precious Holy Spirit. He then reveals His purpose to you by His Spirit, and He reminds you that His grace comes along with His calling (meaning that God will never expect you to do something He has not already equipped you to do). And God then expects you to walk in your divine purpose. Why? Becuase He has given you everything you need to do it. There is no pressure on you to perform. The only thing you must do is die to self and yield to God, so His grace can flow through you. This is #TheGraceLife.
4. All work is honorable.
All work is honorable, and if your work is connected to your purpose, it is divine. You are anointed to do it. It may not have anything to do with church, and that’s okay. For too long, some in the church have created a climate where fivefold ministry gifts (Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists, and Teachers) are seen as the “anointed ones,” whereas most others are not. The emphasis has been on “ministering” in the choir, on the praise team, as an usher, in the parking lot, and etc. Doing your part at church is fine. It is PART of what you are called to do. But we should never make anyone feel like a second-class Christian.
If you are called to business, you have the grace for it. God’s anointing is on you to make deals. The Holy Spirit will lead you as you do what you do. The same goes for being a doctor, lawyer, barber, beautician, teacher, mechanic, etc. Whatever you are called to do, whatever your WORK is, do it with all your might. Do it as unto the Lord. Do it with a spirit of excellence. Do it in a way that God will be seen and glorified. And don’t take on any condemnation for NOT being called to preach, Pastor, etc.
*** You can’t control what you were called to do! But you can control the attitude with which you do it. So embrace your assignment, do all you do to glorify God and let the world see Jesus in you as you WORK!
5. It takes money to do ministry.
The last point I will make today is about money. It takes money to finance the ministry. It takes money to fund Kingdom projects all over the world. Most believers are not called to be leaders in the church (what most consider to be “the church”), but that does not mean you cannot make an impact.
First of all, you can do ministry in the marketplace. You can minister wherever you are, doing whatever you are called to do. Secondly, when it comes to the things you traditionally connect with “ministry” (like churches, Missions work, feeding the needy, sending people into prisons, building schools, taking care of the widows and orphans, etc.)., the Kingdom of God needs people who are open to walk in the grace to fund these projects. To be clear, THIS IS MINISTRY!
God can give you money with a mission and prosperity with a purpose. God is strategic. He can use you as a conduit of Kingdom finance. He can raise you up and give you favor with people who are in a position to fund His projects, or He can give you the resources to do it yourself. But none of this will happen if you are not OPEN to the Holy Spirit.
For too long, many Christians have vilified money as if money is evil. No. Loving money is evil (1 Timothy 6:10), but you can have money without money having you. Solomon was the richest man on the planet. Some estimate his wealth to be in the trillions. And guess what? The Lord made him rich. Solomon understood how to use Kingdom finance for God’s glory. He taught us that in this world, “money answers all things” (Ecc 10:19). His point was that in this world, we need money to get things done.
My point here is that if God calls you to preach, preach! If He calls you to start a church, Pastor. But if He calls you to start a business and you generate wealth to fund Kingdom projects all over the world, you are no less anointed than your Pastor. You are doing the WORK God has called you to do, and God is pleased with you.
Embrace your WORK, whatever it is, and never allow anyone or anything to cause you to feel any less important than anyone else. God is glorified in what you do. God can be seen in your WORK!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I was born for such a time as this. I was born on purpose and for purpose. Along with my purpose, You have already given me the grace to fulfill it.
I spent a portion of my life wandering aimlessly through life. Now that I am Born-Again, those days are over. I am led by Your Spirit every day.
The Holy Spirit makes it clear to me that I was not saved to be lazy. I am saved to WORK, and WORK I shall! I will spend the remainder of my days doing the WORK You called me to.
I am anointed for my WORK. I am content with my assignment. I am not jealous of anyone. They have their calling, and I have mine. I am at peace with it, I do it every day, and I do it with a smile on my face.
You are seen and glorified in my WORK. So I am ready to get to WORK today! I give myself over to You, to be used of You, for YOUR GLORY. Living this way, I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.